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News Tag: UK economy

December 5, 2012

Austerity measures extended in Autumn Statement

by Jan Harris
Austerity measures extended in Autumn Statement
Chancellor George Osborne is extending the government’s austerity measures until 2018, a year longer than expected, after the Office for Budget Responsibility revised down its forecast for economic growth. Last year, the OBR was optimistic that the economy would grow by 0.8 per cent this year, but it now expects it to contract by 0.1 per cent, partly due to continuing problems ...




December 4, 2012

Global slowdown holding back UK growth

by Jan Harris
Global slowdown holding back UK growth
Economic growth is still too weak, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) says, although growth exceeded expectations in the last quarter, helped by the Olympics. The BCC expects the UK economy to contract by 0.1 per cent this year, an improvement on the 0.4 per cent contraction previously forecast. However, the organisation has reduced its growth forecast for 2013 from 1.2 ...




October 31, 2012

Consumer confidence hits six-month low

by Jan Harris
Consumer confidence hits six-month low
Although the UK has officially emerged from recession, consumer confidence fell to -30 in October from -28 in September, according to market researcher company GfK NOP. This is the lowest level of consumer confidence since April when the UK was in an economic slump. Analysts had expected the index to remain stable at -28. Respondents to the survey said they were pessimistic for ...




October 2, 2012

British Chambers of Commerce forecasts end to recession

by Jan Harris
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According to the British Chambers of Commerce’s quarterly economic survey gross domestic product will grow by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter, marking an end to the recession. The BCC is optimistic for growth in the third quarter despite the UK’s continuing weak economic performance. It says that data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting that the UK has been in a ...




September 21, 2012

Bank of England optimistic for economic growth

by Jan Harris
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Sir Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, expects the UK economy to return to growth in the next quarter, marking an end to the double-dip recession. Speaking on Channel 4 News, Sir Mervyn warned that recovery would be slow and said that the continuing crisis in the eurozone creates uncertainty for British business. "I think we’re beginning to see a few signs now ...




August 24, 2012

Rich have benefited most from quantitative easing

by Jan Harris
Rich have benefited most from quantitative easing
The Bank of England has admitted in a new report that the richest 5 per cent of UK households have benefitted the most from its quantitative easing (QE) programme. The Bank launched the programme in March 2009, in an effort to revive economic growth. In total it has bought £375bn of government bonds, known as gilts and this has boosted asset ...




August 8, 2012

Bank of England forecasts zero economic growth

by Jan Harris
Bank of England forecasts zero economic growth
The Bank of England does not expect the UK economy to grow at all this year according to its latest quarterly report. It had previously forecast growth of 2 per cent for 2012 but recent gloomy economic data has led to the growth forecast being revised downwards. The forecast for medium-term growth has also been cut, with the economy now expected ...




July 11, 2012

Double-dip recession deepens

by Jan Harris
Double-dip recession deepens
The UK economy has contracted for three consecutive quarters according to new figures from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). NIESR estimates that GDP fell by 0.2 per cent in the 2012 second quarter, with the extra bank holiday for the Diamond Jubilee contributing to the fall. This follows a 0.3 per cent fall in GDP in the first quarter and a ...




June 1, 2012

UK economic growth forecast cut to 0.1%

by Jan Harris
UK economic growth forecast cut to 0.1%
The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has reduced its estimate for growth in the UK’s economy. in its quarterly economic forecast. The BBC has reduced its forecast, from growth of 0.6 per cent in 2012 to just 0.1 per cent. The UK economy contracted by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter and the BCC expects a further contraction in the second ...




May 10, 2012

BoE holds interest rates and stops quantitative easing

by Jan Harris
BoE holds interest rates and stops quantitative easing
The Bank of England is holding the base rate at 0.5 per cent and has decided not to extend its quantitative easing (QE) programme following a £50bn boost to the economy in February. The UK interest rate has now remained at 0.5 per cent for three years, despite high levels of inflation. Consumer Prices Index inflation currently stands at ...




April 4, 2012

UK may avoid double-dip recession

by Jan Harris
UK may avoid double-dip recession
News that the UK's service sector grew more than expected last month has generated optimism that the economy could avoid falling back into recession. The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the service industry increased to 55.3 in March, from 53.8 in February, with a reading of above 50 representing growth. Growth in the service sector during the first quarter reached its ...




March 29, 2012

OECD says UK falling back into recession

by Jan Harris
OECD says UK falling back into recession
The UK economy is expected to contract by 0.4 per cent on an annualised basis in the first three months of 2012, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This represents a contraction of 0.1 per cent compared with the final quarter of 2011 and means that the UK is returning to recession. UK output declined at ...




March 6, 2012

BCC cuts UK growth forecast

by Jan Harris
BCC cuts UK growth forecast
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) expects the UK economy to grow more slowly than previously forecast and says it faces "serious challenges". In its quarterly economic forecast the BCC forecast growth of 0.6 per cent in 2012, a slight decrease from its previous forecast of 0.8 per cent. It expects the government’s efforts to reduce debt levels, which are still too high, ...




February 7, 2012

Sale rumoured for Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks

by Jan Harris
Sale rumoured for Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks
There is growing speculation that National Australia Bank (NAB) may sell Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank after the Australian parent company announced a strategic review of the two banks’ operations. The Australian economy is performing well and NAB reported strong profits for the final quarter of 2011 but with the UK economy at a virtual standstill the performance of the ...




January 3, 2012

CBI outlines plans to re-balance economy

by Jan Harris
CBI outlines plans to re-balance economy
In its New Year report the CBI has called on UK businesses to increase their export activity to help the UK re-balance its economy. The CBI believes that this could boost the UK’s economy by £20 billion over the next eight years. The organisation is also calling on the private sector to invest £140 billion in the country’s infrastructure to help ...




December 12, 2011

Economists forecast deeper UK recession

by Jan Harris
Economists forecast deeper UK recession
The UK economy is expected to contract by 1.3 per cent in 2012, according to respected economists at Standard Chartered bank. Growth of 0.6% had been predicted but Standard Chartered’s latest survey, of 350 companies, points to a sharp recession in the face of the ongoing eurozone crisis. The eurozone economy is expected to contract by 1.5 per cent next year. Three factors ...




August 23, 2011

Bank ring-fencing threatens UK economy

by Gill Montia
Bank ring-fencing threatens UK economy
Britain's banks are warning that ring-fencing their retail activities, to protect against investment banking losses, could endanger the UK economy because of the cost involved. A ring-fencing proposal will form part of the Independent Commission on Banking's (ICB's) final report, due out in September. However, according to the British Bankers' Association (BBA), the proposed reform has not been costed and a "chorus" of concerned ...




July 26, 2011

UK economic growth slows to 0.2%

by Gill Montia
UK economic growth slows to 0.2%
The UK's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by only 0.2% in the second quarter of 2011, following an increase of 0.5% in the preceding three months. However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) highlights special events that could have curbed growth, including the additional April bank holiday, the royal wedding and the after effects of the Japanese tsunami. On a sector ...




July 25, 2011

Cable: economy needs quantitative easing boost

by Gill Montia
Cable: economy needs quantitative easing boost
The sluggish performance of the UK economy needs combating with another round of Quantitative Easing (QE), according to Business Secretary, Vince Cable. In an interview with The Financial Times, the minister identifies weak demand as a serious block to growth and urges the Bank of England to resume its QE programme, which was suspended early last year. The Bank has so far spent ...




July 18, 2011

Think tank revises UK growth forecast

by Kay Mitchell
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Respected think tank, Ernst & Young ITEM Club, has lowered its growth forecast for the UK economy after warning that the UK is at a "critical juncture". The ITEM Club now believes the UK economy will expand by 1.4% this year, down from an earlier estimate of 1.8%. Furthermore, it is predicting growth of 2.2% for the 2012 year, slightly lower than ...